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098/10 09/08/10 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] >> from pacifica, this is "democracy now!" >> the news is caring reports that a pastor down in gainesville, florida plans to bring the holy quran on september 11. -- burn the quran on the
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september 11. >> global condemnation grows over florida churches plan to burn the quran on a september 11. general petraeus warns it could endanger u.s. troops abroad. lee will speak with the gainesville student was organizing a series of town to events and we will be joined by the cannes mayor, the first openly gay mayor and was started by the florida church's turn his campaign "how does it feel to be a problem? being young and arab in america." we will speak with the author moustafa bayoumi. 13 dead and hundreds wounded in a police crackdown over protest -high food prices.-proces we will speak with raj patel. going to jail for friend and someone on facebook? rod coronado is ordered back to prison after accepting a friend request on facebook.
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all of that and more coming up. this is "democracy now!,", the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. president obama is expected to unveil additional economic proposals today that will include an end to bush era tax cuts for the wealthiest americans. in a speech from milwaukee, the white house says obama will call on lawmakers to extend the tax cuts for 98% of americans while returning those who make above $200,000 to pre-2001 levels. obama will also propose in cleveland today another set of tax cuts on capital expenditures for businesses that democrats say are intended to win republican and corporate support. in iraq, to the american soldiers were killed and another nine wounded when an iraqi soldier opened fire of a military base north of baghdad. the soldier had apparently gotten to a dispute with an american during a sports match. the u.s. military says he was
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killed after u.s. troops returned fire. it was the first u.s. debt in iraq since the obama administration declared nominal end to coat operation last week. the united nations has doubled its tally of rapes committed in eastern congo since july. it holds partial responsibility for failing to prevent them. the un says over 500 or raped when rwandan and congolese rebels stormed the town. it took three weeks for the un to respond the don't even though the town is just miles from a u.n. base. and tuesday, the un secretary for peacekeeping said the un is rtially atault >> the primary responsibility for protection of civilians lies with the state, its national army and police force. clearly, we have also failed. our actions were not adequate,
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resulting in unacceptable brutalization of the population of the villages in the area. we must do better. >> according to the un, over 15,000 rapes reported to the democratic republic of congo a but 2008 and 2009. the un has delayed the release of report accusing them rwandan military of war crimes and possibly genocide in the democratic republic of congo. report said tutsi-led rwandan troops and their rebel allies killed tens of thousands of members of the hutu ethnic group after the 1994 rwandan genocide. the do-the delay of the report comes after the foreign minister said its publication could spark rwanda's's withdraw from un peacekeeping mission in darfur. >>e made it very clear to the highest authorities in the 19 nations and we are saying today, the united nations has leaked
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the draft of this report, commented on the leaked draft which is why we are also commenting on it, and we are saying we're a very fierce the considering withdrawing our troops from darfur and that we have instructed our commanders to make contingency plans for our troops to come home. >> the report has been delayed until next mon. the associated press is reporting a torture and former cia officer has returned to the agency as a private contractor. the officer identified only as "albert," was accused of revving an electric drill and holding an unloaded handgun near the head of a prisoner at a secret cia jail in poland. he left the cia after being reprimanded but has since returned as a contractor to train other operatives and conduct intelligence work. and los angeles, protesters and police officers have clashed for two consecutive days of the fatal shooting of a guatemalan
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immigrant. police say they killed the 37- year-old man after he refused to drop a knife and lunged at three officers. he was a day laborer and a father of three children. on tuesday, 22 people were arrested after protesters clashed with police officers near where the shooting occurred. the u.s. government is facing a lawsuit seeking to in searches of international travelers laptop computers and other electronic devices without probable cause. tuesday, the american civil liberties unionnd tther oups fileduit asking a judge to declare the search is unconstitutional. the losses as over 65 other people have had their electronic devices searched at u.s. border crossings in the past two years. the senate is facing renewed calls to finalize a $1.2 billion settlement for african american farmers in a class-action lawsuit over longtime racial discrimination be that the settlement was reached earlier this year but republicans have blocked the require congressional approval.
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tuesday, the head of the national black farmers associatio aeared outse a federal courthouse in lower manhattan with a mule, intended to symbolize the war era promises to free black slaves. speaking to tap as smiley a pbs, he called for a culture but on the settlement by the end of the month. >> i am interested in the culture a vote before the end of the month of september so that the black farmers can receive a settlement. this has been going on too long. this has been going on too long and if this fails, it is not just a failure for the black farmers, but a failure for black peop in this cntry and a failure for the american people if we cannot get this done. >> you can go to for a full interview with john boyd. arizona's democratic party has filed a complaint over republican effort to recruit local election candidates on to the green party ballot to siphon off votes. a republican operative has openly admitted to signing of
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homeless people to run for state office and various local commission speed up the green party has urged his supporters not to back the republican engineered candidate. a former biotech anast w blew the whistle on deceptive tactics of the wall street firm rodman and renshaw has been ordered to pay the company millions of dollars in damages. matthew murray was fired in 2006 after asking his superiors to downgrade a favorable rating of the biotech giant halozyme therapeutics, a big rodman client. rodman filed a complaint against murray after he attempted a pass on his internal correspondence with company officials to congress. last month the regulatory authority awarded him 10 black ic$7 millionn damages, a figure that could reach $15 million with interest. human-rights watch has received 100 and in dollar donation from the billionaire currency speculator and philanthropist. it is its largest-ever to a non-
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governmental group. >> originally a wanted to give away all of my money during my lifetime, but i changed my mind because the foundation has a mission that i think hcan rfor without me and i think it will be unnecessary -- a necessary mission, namely providing financial support to civil society to hold governments accountable for their actions like how they spend their money and how they behave. >> the reverend lucius walker has died at the age of 80. reverend walker was executive director of the into religious foundation for community organization and founder of pastors for peace. a longtime advocate for ending u.s. embargo against cuba, reverend walker took part in numerous u.s.-cuba for and
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shipped caravan's. speaking to care of of participants in 2009, he called for a radical shift in u.s. policy. >> we did not consider cuba our enemy, but our neighbors. and as people are motivated by the great teachers of faith, we believe we are to love our neighbor. that means we have to act contrary to u.s. policy, which is in a position of a blockade against cuba to try to force it to do the will of the u.s. rather than to pursue its own path toward a better world. >> rev. lucius walker had celebrated his 80th birthday in cuba in july. you can go to for our interviews with reverend walker. i went with him to peru to meet lori berenson years ago in prison. those are some of the headlines. this is "democracy now!,", the war and peace port. i'm amy goodman with sharif abdel kouddous. >> welcome to all of our
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listeners and viewers. 13 people died and hundreds were when the last trick in the african nation of mozambique when police crackdown on the three-day protest over a 30% hike in the price of bread. tuesday, the government announced it would reduce the bread price increase but added it had been forced to increase prices because of the soaring price of wheat. the prices and the world have jumped more than 60% in the weeks since russia decided to ban wheat exports falling record-setting drought and wildfires. the united nations special repertoire and the right to food warned is to be a wake-up call for governments that have ignored food security problems since the global food crisis of 2008 when countries around the world saw angry protests in the streets of the rising prices of basic food items. >> the food and agriculture organization has called for an emergency meeting later this month to discuss global food security but on tuesday, an
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official at the agency plan the most-mozaique rightand market turbulence, not a food crisis. for more, we could set francisco and joined by raj patel whose books include "stuffed and starved: the hidden battle for the world's food system" and "the value of nothing: how to reshape market society and redefine democracy." his latest article appears in the guardian of london called "mozambique's's food riots: the true face of global warming." what is happening now? >> right now, the government has indeed reversed i 30% food price increase. the government was right in pointing to international financial speculation. there were domestic issues as well, not just the price of bread that went up by 30%. the price of utilities and water also went up in double digits. this is what people were
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rebelling and protesting against. it is true mozambique with subjects to these huge fluctuations and the international wheat market. russia has been experiencing some incredible drought and wildfires. russia has experienced its worst heat wave in over a century. but there is nothing natural about the way those weather events get transmitted around the world. the way we experience global warming is always mediated, always an interaction between the natural systems and our human system speed up in russia, the fact there was a heat wave was compounded by the fact there was started a, was not good for preparations to fight the fight- fight the fire were inadequate. on top of that, vladimir putin announced a repeat of ban on exports of wheat. that sent the signal to traders and speculations there would be
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less wheat available than they thought. and there were already worries about how climate will impact wheat harvests in argentina, for example. and many have expected to double. this is nothing natural. they're very much human generated, particularly since legislation in 1991 was waved as a result of lobbying by goldman sachs. you'll see increasing levels of speculation in food and fuel. it creates these bubbles in prices. a fe people profit a great deal in 2006, for example, merrill lynch estimate of the speculation was causing commodity prices to rise 50% higher rather than if they were just based on supply and demand alone. the consequence is the government's such as mozambique find themselves in a position on the price of wheat goes sky high, that they're caught
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between a rock and hard place they make the political decision to pass the costs onto the citizens. that proved to be a very poor decision. people in the city protested widely. 13 people were killed as a result of initial reports that rubber bullets were being fired a one report suggests the reason the police switched to live ammunition is because they ran out of rubber bullets there is nothing natural about those consequences. those are human conditions compound in the effect of the strange climatic events we are experiencing worldwide. >> raj patel, the food and cultural atagricultural organization says it is the third largest wheat crop ever. how is that possible and have a world record of hundred people- and have the largest number of
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hundred people worldwide? >> if you cast your mind back to 2008, what we saw then were record rises in the price of food. in 2008 and 2009, we have pretty good harvests. the quality and quantity of the harvest does not matter so much as people's ability to access the food. what we're seeing since then is there are hundreds of millions of more people who are poor and caught in the global recession and unable to afford food. and it is the way we distribute food is to the markets, then the main barrier to access is not the quantity of food available, but the poverty of people who are unable to access the. that is why for many people, the crisis of 2008 has not release stopped. since 2008, we've had hundreds of millions of more people hungry. the number of hungry people in
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the world according to the last count in 2009as estimated a 1.0 6 billion people hungry. for many people, things are much worse than 2008, not necessarily because harvests are lower, but because people are pour. >> raj patel, talk about these devastating floods in pakistan and the effect on food and agriculture their. >> we're seeing horrific conditions in pakistan. the flooding was exacerbated by domestic policy choices aund foreation,orxample. the magnitude and the effects of those floods was made much worse. what we know is something we're seeing around the world is the groups that are hardest hit by these kinds of climate change events are the most honorable. specifically, women. weather and pakistan are
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mozambique, we know 60% of those going hungry today are women or girls. the united nations has observed in a range of countries where massive comet to disasters have been recorded and the impacts followed up and we know women bear the brunt of these kinds of events. we also know in developing countries, women grow the majority of the food consumed. what we're seeing a disproportionate impact on the people who are providing the food for the majority of people in developing countries to eat. >> raj patel, what about the situation in niger. we saw terrible drought there followed by flash floods. what does it mean for food security there? >> it is the same story over and over. what we're seeing a this catastrophic floods layered on top of a long history of under investment, a long history of a bad development policy, poor government will choices.
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again, what we see is the natural cycles and the natural shocks we see more and more because of the climate change blaring on top of human systems that are failing in one way or another. by adding to those human systems things like speculation in grain, we make things much worse. >> any talk about the latest report from the world bank on -- can you talk about the latest report ofrom the world bank on land grabs? buying up agricultural land by foreign entities? >> one of these human systems has evolved in international develop policy. one of the reasons why countries like mozambique are so vulnerable to these international shocks is because their economies have been restructured to connect them very deeply to the international
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market. one of the policies that has been promoted by organizations like the world bank has been the policy of land grabbing. the world bank does not really call it that, but calls it a global interest in farm land. there is not a nice way to describe the process for foreign investors will buy huge swathes of land promising great return, but in fact to bring very little. this long awaited report which the world bank has finally released -- it tells two stories. if you read the analysis of the world bank, they suggest if you allow foreign countries and investors into the poorest countries on earth, the results to be very good. of course, it can be good. but in fact, if you look at the results and the date of the world make itself -- world bank itself on the so-called land
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grabs, the results of in pretty shocking. with the bank observed from foreign investors are attracted to countries with these weak regulatory systems. 70% of the four investments happen in africa. 17% of the foreign investments happened in africa. none of the sub-saharan african countries recently impacted -- attracted achieve more than 25% of the gains promised. things are so bad that mozambique itself is trying to get some of the land back is sold to investors because the government is now growing sugarcane or any of the other crops promised by investors. one of the worst things is, it is bad enough to have speculative [unintelligible] worse is when the speculators to do something with the land. with the world bank observed,
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the most probable and hit hard when things like sugar cane crops are being grown in developing countries. it is a very thirsty crops. what investors by is also access to water when they buy sugar cane crops. women are being shut out of their livelihood, collecting water, so foreign speculators can make money. that is the great tragedy of these land grabs, that they are compounding the natural -- not the natural but inequality -- the human inequality that already exists in developing countries and there are a poor substitute for a genuine investment and development and food sovereignty in these countries. a >> african leaders just concluded an agricultural forum in ghana calling for greater private investment in farming on the continent. 4 million secretary general kofi annan is the chairman of the forum as well as the organization known wellagra. this is how he explained the
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goals for the forum to news website. >> if africa gets its act together, it can feed its own population and helped export to the rest of the world. i think governments and business communities is taking a keen interest in agriculture and that is what you're seeing here at this forum. governments prepared to come in with policies [unintelligible] upbraiding infrastructure to help the revolution move forward. >> that is former u.s. secretary keffiyeh non. >-- you and secretary kofi annan 9. >> the green revolution has had some very ambivalent a fax. the green revolution was in the process of creating hybrid
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crops and consolidating farm sizes and relying on incredibly thursday an incredibly fossil field intensive kind of fertilizer driven agriculture to boost yield. i was speaking to a representative from the aids foundation, -- gates foundation and have even been saying if they had more influence than they in fact had, the name green revolution probably would not feature in this alliance but nonetheless, what we see through this alliance is a shift away from the kinds of government sponsored and supported investments we have seen in the past to a sort of private sector driven approach to investing in agriculture. you heard kofi annan talking about private sector interest. land grabs are an expression of vast global interest in land.
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really what it seems to be a trojan horse for is the privatization of agriculture in africa. kofi annan is right. with the right kinds of policies and government investment and the right public investment, it is possible for africa to feed itself. an abundance of ideas of how food sovereignty and a democratic control over food and agriculture in africa might happen, that just happens agra seems to be citing less with these ideas coming from african farmers for example a much more from the private sector and organizationother organizations. agra is mobilizing for a set of policies that seem to have already failed badly. >> raj patel, a thank you for being with us. his books include "stuffed and
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starved: the hidden battle for the world's food system" and "the value of nothing: how to reshape market society and redefine democracy." this is "democracy now!,", the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. can you be jailedin for beg the wrong person? you'll hear the story of rod coronado in a moment. -- can you be jailed for friend ing the wrong person? you'll hear the story of rod coronado in a moment. ♪ [music break]
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>> this is "democracy now!,", the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with sharif abdel kouddous. >> longtime radical animal liberation activist rod coronado has been sent back to prison for four months after u.s. history
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judge in michigan ruled he had violated the terms of his parole. his offense was associating with fellow radical activist mike roselle accepting the friend request from him on facebook. in accepting the friend request, coronado's's action amounted to one click of his computer's mouse. coronado was also using what his parole officer called an unaddressed computer. rod coronado is a well-known native active -- native american activist to be dissipated in direct actions with the earth liberation front enamel liberation front during the 1990's. years in for a half federal prison after was convicted of aiding and abetting arson in michigantate iversity research facility. in 2006, core not a wrote a letter from prison renouncing property damage as a tactic and advocating social change through other means. in recent years, the federal government has continued to target coronado. >> the journalist dean kuipers has been following rod
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coronado's store from his 20 years. last year, he published a book "operation bite back: rod coronado's war to save american wilderness." he joins us from los angeles. we welcome you to "democracy now!" tell us what has just ppened tood conad >> well, he was under the provisions of his probation. he had been serving a 1-year-old jail sentence he finished in 2009 and was under probation. as was pointed out in the intro to the program, evidently, he has some restrictions on regarding which computer he could use. and what he could do with that computer and who you associate with. i do not think these were very well defined from what i understand it i do not think fabook was specifilly instance. anfor he got a friend request from mike roselle.
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he is very well-known throughout the movement. when he accepted his friend request from the federal government decided that was a violation of his parole. >> so, dean kuipers, this is killed by facebook association? >> evidently. there were quite a number of people who are probably in the same position as what rod is in now. theas been a lot of prosecutions of radical environmental lists, activists over the last five years or so. beginning with quite a large prosecution in 2005 centered around eugene, oregon, with a number of activists and bald, 65-count indictment and i 20 people involved. -- activists involved, 65-count indictment were over 20 people were involved. rod is unfortunate goi back to jail for four mths.
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then he has to start his 30- month or three-year probation all over again. i think a lot of people are watching this case because they want to figure out exactly what the federal government is going to do and how it will treat these radical animal rights and environmental activists. >> dean kuipers, york contributed to be "los angeles times" and an editor at "los angeles city beach," and you've been following this case for 20 years. give us a thumbnail sketch of the rod coronado is and what happened to us. no longer with "cityh "cit beat." rod was working with the sea shepherds. he and another activist went to iceland were they observe the willing operations in iceland in
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1986. -- whaling operations. one night they snuck onto a boat. it was a whaling ship. basic two of their boats in the harbor and got away. this got a lot of media publicity. they immediately claimed responsibility and paul watson, the captain of the sea shepherd, offered him itself up for prosecution. because iceland was willing was considered violaon o ternational whaling commission rules, they decided not to prosecute him because it did not with the media publicity. this is the way the sea shepherd has been operating for years. rod was big time on them at that time as a radical environmentalist.
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in the early 1990's coniston investigation on the fur industry in the united states, trying to get footage on fur farms that some east coast of environmental groups wanted to use for a publicity campaign. i say east coast because he is working mostly on the west coast. in the course of his investigation with another activist, he decided the way he could best effect the conditions on these farms was to go after the research and development arm of the mink industry. that was a very small group of people who are mostly university scientists who are doing research on genetic issues and diet issues d th sorof thing. he was pretty good about targeting exactly the right people in terms of what he considered to be the right people. he used arson as his tool. he would go to these university labs or research offices when no one was around, surveil the
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survey them for quite a number of days. he was identified from one of the actions inichin state. he went underground. rod is an indian by heritage built it was quite easy for him that point to go underground and to live on an indian reservation, which becomes a whole other fascinating part of his story. he changed his identity multiple times and was hidden and helped to live on indian reservations across the country, mostly in the last until was finally captured in 1994 on a rervation. he did five years for arson. that was just part of the calculation of guests for ride was that at that point, anyway, the penalty for doing ours was
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five years. -that which is part of the calculation, i guess, for rod was at that point, anyway, the penalty for doing person was five years. he claims he was reluctant to do arson. there's a good reason why we have stiffer penalties for anyone who does arson come even one th dsot ht anyone. he knew he could do the five years, said that was part of the calculation so he did the five years. rod came back on my radar screen only a couple of years ago and 2007, even though i had stayed in touch with his activities. he is always involved in something interesting to note in 2007, he was prosecuted again but this time for terrorism. he is sort of intimately been invoed with this sort of eepirogression of the definition of terrorism for
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radical activists in this country over the last 15-20 years. a couple of the laws passed about domestic federal terrorism were passed partly because of him. in 2003 is for the latest it begins. he was doing a series of talks across the country, which is his sort of standard activist action at that point, doing some talks. heould talk out the whaling action, anti-fur campaign. part of the series of talks, he did a talk in san diego at the gay/lesbian center, a public talk which was advertised throughout the local activist community there. as part of his talk, he answered a question at the end during the question and answer time from someone in the audience to
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said, how did you make these incendiaries? this was a standard question that rod had evidently answered many times before. his take on that question was that this was an easy thing to do. he wanted to show he was not some sort of bombing madman or demolition expert, but held up a jug of apple juice and said -- imagine this was filled with gasoline. he went on to describe briefly that you could do a number of different things that would make that firm. and then run away. that was the essence of his type of incendiary device. the we federal agents or federal task force agents in the audience that night as there always are a rotten core not a speech. they decided that this was -- at a broad coronado speech. they decided this was under the rules of the federal terrorism law that have been developed by 2003 that this was a crime of
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not just in time to arson, but deral terrorism. it took a number of years to put together the case. in 2007 it finally went to trial. the jury seem not to quite by the incitement prosecution. there was a hung jury that was hung in rod's favor. the crime he had committed during a talk really was quite a new area of territory for first amendment cases. it seemed to fail every one the tests we have under brandenburg fo whais protected sech d what is not, meaning like it seemed it was protected speech. but there was a hung jury and the government came back to rot and said, guess what? we have a whole bunch of your speeches on tape. we're happy to prosecute all of
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the speeches. rod had two young children at the time was tried to put his family together and decided it would be better for him to take a plea and to one year than to go through these prosecutions. so he took a plea. he did a year in jail and got out and the sprin of 2009, i believe, if i have the correct. since then he has been on probation. he has been serving his probation in the grand rapids, michigan area. the judge who has been overseeing his probation and oversaw his sentencing mayor has been pretty tough on him get up he has really been showing under the laws that exist now, radical activists and animal rights and environmental activists who sort get tripped up by the steadily creeping an increasing definition of what could be considered federal terrorism. >> you have this change in the
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federal law to prosecute animal rights activists as terrorists. the passage in 2006. talk about how rod coronado, the prosecution of him fits into the so-called green scare. >> the green scare was the name that was used beginning run the 05 procuti in eugene, oregon, when word started getting thrown around as the sweeping term for the prosecution of environmental activists. the green scare been the reference to the red scare, the communist hunting days of the 1950's. so many of the definitions of terrorism in the tools used to prosecute terrorism have been turned on environmental activists really beginning with the patriot act in 2001 there are couple of lines in
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the patriot act that the been specifically a environmental activist for prosecution under terrorism loslaws. the laws passed to go after them have silly been increasing. most recently, the 2006 law you pointed out which is the animal rights terrorism act which makes all sort of stuff that was not considered terrorism before cong terrorism now. including vandalism or mischief before. one interesting case that has been moving forward under the animal terrorism rights, protesting outside of live the home of a university researcher in which there were chanting and chalk drawings on the sidewalk. no matter what was being chanted or what was being drawn on the sidewalk, and i'm not sure what
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it was, i think prior to the act, this would have been considered free speech or possibly people who were engaged in this type of activity would be arrested for disorderly conduct of their disturbing the people in the home or blocking their ability to enter their driveway or something like that. but this is being considered now possibly federal terrorism and the people who are convicted under these laws face quite stiff penalties and they also face the u of fedal teorism sentencing enhancement. which is the significance of the gene cases mentioned in 2005, the first time that was used against environmental activists. -- eugene case i mentioned in 2005. the first time that was used against and rental activists. and a judge's discretion, it could add as much as 20 years to
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the sentences of these activists. and a probation conditions are pretty extreme as well. >> dean kuipers, we have to leave it there. will continueoollow rod coronado's case. his book is called "operation bite back: rod coronado's war to save american wilderness." in his letter he wrote "don't ask and a burn down a building but up ask me how to grow watermelons or how to explain nature to a child." this is "democracy now!,", the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we will be back in a moment. ♪ [music break]
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>> this is "democracy now!,", the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with sharif abdel kouddous. >> international outrage is growing over a florida church's plan to burn me quran on september 11. the double our center, based in gainesville, florida, has vowed to burn the muslim holy book to mark the ninth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. on monday, hundreds of afghans rallied in kabul to denounce the church's plans. the protest came two days after thousands of indonesians' helped -- held protests in jakarta and five other cities.
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general david petraeus has warned the burning could endanger u.s. troops. the white house echoed his concerns. press secretary robert gibbs addressed the issue at a news conference on tuesday. >> look, i think the best place to look for the views of this demonstration would be -- for this iministrati wou be look at what general petraeus said over the weekend. we know that have an activity -- we know that have of activity is being transmitted back to places like afghanistan or general petraeus obviously is our lead commander. as he said, it puts our troops in harm's way. obviously, any type of activity like that would be a concern to this administration. >> an washington, a broad coalition of religious leaders from evangelical, roman catholic, jewish and muslim
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organizations has called the planned quran burning a violation of american values. secretary to hillary clinton hosted an iftar dinner to celebrate ramadan at the state department tuesday and also condemned the planned burning. >> i am heartened by the clear, unequivocal condemnation of this disrespectful, disgraceful act that has come from american religious leaders of all faiths from evangelical christians to jewish rabbis as well as secular u.s. leaders and opinion makers. >> the little-known dove world our center is an evangelical christian church based in gainesville, florida with between 30 and 50 members. it made headlines last year after handing out t-shirts that said "islam of the devil." it's pastor, terry jones, was asked about the warning that the burning of qurans could endanger u.s. troops by cnn yesterday.
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>> are you willing to have blood on your hands with this demonstration? >> we're very concerned. we're taking the general's words very serious. we are continuing to pray about the action on september 11. we were indeed concerned about it but it is just we do not know -- i mean, how long we back down customer >> so you may not turn it on september 11? >> i am saying we're definitely bring about it. we have firmly made up our mind, but a the same time, we're definitely praying about it. when does america stand for truth? instead of us being blamed for what other people will do or might do, what was sent a warning to them? what we sent a warning to radical islam and say, look, don't do it. >> frontpage says he will
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proceed with the quran burning. the story follows protests against a planned islamic community center two blocks from ground zero and the recent arson of a construction site for new mosque and islamic center in tennessee. less attention has been paid to what local community members in gainesville are planning in response. a group called the gainesville muslim initiative has planned several counter events including teach-ins and a peace vigil this week and the mayor of gainesville, craig lowe, has condemned the event and has declared a timber 11 as "interfaith solidarity day." we now go to florida where we're joined by ziad ghanimi. and in the studio is moustafa bayoumi. he is author of "how does it feel to be a problem? being young and arab in america." joined on the telephone by the mayor of gainesville, craig lowe.
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let's begin with you mayor. who is terry jones? in fact, yes felt his targeting yourself when he ran for mayor? >> that is correct. terry jones is the pastor of a church, that iwhat you wish to call it under such circumstances, that is very small and is a fringe group in gainesville, not someone who is representative of our community in the least. gainesville is a community that values every person regardless of their religion, race, gender, national origin, sex orientation or their language at birth. we're a community seeks for everyone to contribute to our community are welcome as contributions from everyone in our community and we wisho protect -- project that image to the world and not what we see on cnn and other networks with regard to this very unfortunate
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series of events. >> your the first openly gay mayor of gainesville and that is why he attacked you? >> that is correct. that was the basis for his attacks. >> ziad ghanimi, tell us what you're doing, with the gainesville initiative is and what you been doing a preparation for the quran burning on saturday. a >> the initiative was formed about two months ago, t not necessarily to respond to pastor jones. we are trying to increase awareness about islam and muslims here in the u.s. to counter the negative near to that has been around about muslims and islam, especially the ground zero mosque and what is happening in tennessee. what pastor jones did was just a way for us to proceed on our plan and to extend a number of activities that we have planned to undertake for this whole
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semester. what have we planned so far? it was amazing how people from other religions were very supportive of us. many of the activities we have planned are in partnership with churches, synagogues, and sometimes hindu temples. we of a large majority of hindus in gainesville. all were supportive. what we decided to do was have a series of events. some of them were interfaith events and others were only events initiated by muslims and conducted by muslims. for example, we're having open houses at both of the mosques in gainesville where everyone is invited to come vote is september 17. we want people to feel reassured -- everyone is invited to come. it is september 17. we want people to feel reassured
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that nothing dangerous is going to happen to you. you wil visit theosquand see how muslims pray and how they behave and ybe people will realize there is nothing to be afraid of if you know muslims or have muslims as friends and neighbors. the most important event for us is the candlelight vigil for peace and unity. we are planning a huge event at the downtown plaza in gainesville where we will be doing a little bit what we do every week, just a larger scale. every week we feed the homeless in downtown gainvill we will be doing the same thing. every muslim holiday, we try to donate blood. we invited them to bring to the buses to the downtown gainesville area and we will be collecting blood donations for our local hospitals. we also contacted the gainesville public library and
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they gave us a wish list of books. basically during the whole afternoon, we will be collecting pledges for books for the gainesville public library. we've lost a have a food drive. it is good to feed the homeless one time, but -- we will have a food drive. it is good to feed the homeless one time, but is good to have a system in place that when people need the food, it is available. the food will be given to organizations that feed the homeless on a regular basis. the most important part of the event is a candlelight vigil for peace where we invited all the leaders of the organizations that have been supportive tos, it will make a short statement and after that we will light our candles, observed a minute of silence and the memory of the victims of september 11, and for peace and unity and tolerance and mutual respect.
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muslims believe that if we stand to get there, we can achieve great things together as opposed to looking at each other's differences. finally, there is a very big event on the 10th of september. it is hosted by a church but what will be hapning is we will be reading from the different holy scriptures of the major religions in gainesville. we will read from the quran, the bible, the torah and other holy scriptures. it will be a long event or dinner will be provided to the most of all, we're trying to get together, get to know each other and get closer to each other as opposed to focusing on differences. >> i want to bring into the conversation moustafa bayoumi. ur book is called "how does it feel to be a problem? being young and arab in america." talk about what is happening right now with the planned quran burning. we had the angry
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protesting, the burning of a construction site of a planned mosque in tennessee. talked about this and put it in context for as. >> i think we're seeing a flare- up in a kind of anti- muslim sentiment. it is very troubling for it is not so brand new. ever since september 11, 2001 and even vote for hand, but especially since then, we have seen a rise in sentiment across the country. polling data will bear this out. many talk about the general population's view of muslims, for example and usually those polls of late show that some are between 40% and 50% of the american population is meant to harboring prejudiced against muslims. but what i think you find in recent years, especially the last few months, is that this has taken a different kind of turn. it has become more of a vitriolic instead of a
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community-based anger and muslims. frankly, it is surprising to many people in the islamic community who had been counting on the good graces of the neighbors and understanding to carry on the traditions of the freer exercise of religion in the country and just the daily actions of american democracy. >> are concerned about saturday night in the end of ramadan and al septeer 11? the final dinner of ramadan in the time of celebration and had a falling on september 11 and how that could be misconstrued? >> yes, not only in my concern, but in many of the minister major muslim organizations have as their congregations in their communities to play down the levels of celebration this year so it does not seem like it is somehow a celebration of septber 11, 2001 of the attacks, which would be horrible if that were seen to be the case.
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by the same token, i think is important to emphasize the people of good conscience of the country you're standing up to oppose this kind of and some muslim sentiment and fervor that we see. there are many. we need to have many more. particularly from the political leadership, i think in this country. i think they have been very cowardly and being willing to stand up for the fundamental principles, particularly the free exercisof religion. i think it is important in that regard to highlight people like mayor bloomberg and scott stringer and others, including public figures such as yourselves or jon stewart who arrested very eloquently and spoken out eloquently for the rights of muslims, understand that if your actions supporting the rights of muslim americans, what you're really doing is supporting your right as an american to exercise the same rights. almost seems like people
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are try to redefine what being american means. >> i think that is right. i think it is constantly in process. it is nothing that is settled. in fact, it is a process that continues from the very beginning of this country until today. what we find of late, i think, a disturbing measure of what it means to be an american. i think it is important to place the entire muslim sentiment that we see today alongside the kind of anti-immigrant that we see today. -- press the anti-muslim sentiment that we see today alongside the kind of anti- immiant that we see today. like in arizona. i would also put in that same parameter the polling data that we see that says president obama
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has 20% of the population wants to say president obama is a muslim. i think that is a thinly disguised way of talking about president obama is racial background, a way of saying he is not like us. so rather than using traditional discourse of race in this country, which is to call him african-american or such, they called him instead a muslim, which is a way to say he is not one of us. is not one of us.

Democracy Now with Amy Goodman
PBS September 8, 2010 11:00pm-12:00am PST

TOPIC FREQUENCY Gainesville 19, Mozambique 7, Florida 7, Amy Goodman 6, Coronado 5, Obama 4, Kofi Annan 4, United Nations 4, Un 4, Cuba 4, Islam 4, Kuipers 3, Walker 3, Abdel Kouddous 3, Terry Jones 3, Rodman 3, Moustafa Bayoumi 3, Pakistan 3, Iceland 3, Los Angeles 3
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